A Product Technologist provides technical support for the production of sewn products, from design to manufacture. They need to understand production processes, fabric properties, manage costs and be able to work to tight deadlines.
What would you do?
A Product Technologist is involved in all stages of sewn product development, from the initial idea to the product manufacture. They work closely with designers, buyers, merchandisers and the production team, advising on suitable materials and construction processes, analysing returns and ensuring items can be produced to budget. In larger firms product technologists may work within a team, in smaller firms they may work autonomously.
Day to day tasks include:
- Evaluating new product designs
- Sample production support, review, evaluation and approval
- Producing specifications and production instructions
- Identifying suitable materials and accessories
- Analysing product returns and faults
- Costing and budget management
- Quality assurance and control
Where would you work?
A Product Technologist can be employed by a high street retailer or a large, medium or small business manufacturing sewn products from clothing, footwear and fashion items to leather goods, soft furnishing, marine and medical textiles. They are typically office based, have access to production sites, work in a fast moving environment and are often required to travel both within the UK and overseas.
What would you be paid?
For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours
Product technologist starting salary on average is £21,00 to £25,000 per year
Experienced product technologist salary on average is £30,000 to £35,000 per year
Senior product technologist salary on average is £45,000 to £50,000 per year
Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include company discounts, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime and bonuses in order to meet deadlines.
Product Technologist Apprenticeships: Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textiles employers supplement this rate of pay. https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
Will you need qualifications or training?
You will typically need a degree or HND in a clothing/fashion technology or related subject. Internal progression for those already working in the industry is also possible, a Level 4 Product Technologist Apprenticeship is available for those wishing to train on the job.
Degrees and HNDs in garment and product technologist related subjects are widely available. Click here to see all universities offering degrees relevant to this job role. Qualifications and short courses relating to this job role are offered by a number of awarding organisations including ABC Awards, City & Guilds, SQA, Pearson and UAL. For more details please follow the links.
What are the career prospects?
Experience could lead to a Senior Product Technologist role or a move into a specialist area such as ethical trading, quality or colour management systems, or a related career, such as a Buyer, Merchandiser, technical manager or research within a university or similar institution.
How secure is the future of this career?
The UK’s world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self-employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017.
UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.
For further information go to: www.ukft.org
Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. The job role may be advertises using a different job title such as Garment Technologist. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:
Product Technologist Apprenticeship vacancies:
Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above, Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site.
www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!
See websites associated to the Pattern Cutter job role below:
Northern Clothing Network
British Fashion Council